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muchas reseñas de textos reciéntemente publicados en español o portugués con énfasis en editoriales independientes

Sean Manning reseña y traduce Lorenzo García Vega, Cetrería del títere al inglés

Lorenzo García Vega. Cetrería del títere. La Habana: Universidad Central de Las Villas, 1960. 180 páginas.

A las 4:00 de la tarde del día primero de junio de 2012 Enrique Fierro, salido de las páginas de El oficio de perder para dirigirme una tesis doctoral sobre el autor de esas mismas páginas, había empezado a extraer de su memoria romances medievales de aquellos recogidos por Menéndez Pidal. Luego buscó el libro sobre la estantería y me leyó aquel del enamorado y la muerte: No soy el amor, amante: / la Muerte que Dios te envía. /¡Ay Muerte tan rigurosa, / déjame vivir un día! / ¡Un día no puede ser, / una hora tienes de vida! También me leyó el de la condesita y me reveló que a los nueve años el niño Enrique lo solía representar en Montevideo con títeres. Yo imaginaba a un titiritero tan pequeño al mando de unos títeres enormes como son los de Courcoult. Y también pensaba en Lorenzo, porque la palabra títere ahora siempre me hace pensar en Lorenzo y en su libro Cetrería del títere que publicó en 1960, y que de forma paulatina traduzco al inglés.

En este libro, su tercero tras Suite para la espera y Espirales del cuje, se reúnen quince relatos en donde muchas de las preocupaciones estéticas y existenciales que él había articulado en las entradas tempranas de su diario Rostros del reverso ahora adquieren personajes y escenarios. Y a medida que yo me adelanto en la traducción de ellos, en ese intermitente entrar y salir de la narración, percibo acordes compuestos de palabras que el oído aísla de su contexto al reconocerlas, por su repetición, como familiares. Cada acorde es un campo léxico que canta las obsesiones de Lorenzo. Hay uno del desorden, lo sin forma que califica lo que no se ha logrado entender: amasijo, burujón, pandemonio, trastería, manchón. Hay otro para el orden, o la aspiración a él, que implica la comprensión: acorralar, trazar, línea, zigzag, limitar. También hay para lo pequeño que describe lo identificable dentro del desorden: escaso, minucia, retazo, brevísimo, diminuto; otro para el espacio concreto en el que se realizan las búsquedas: cuarto, rincón, pasillo, callejón, cajón; y otro para la delicada circulación de las imágenes: deslizar, soplo, revoloteo, giro, papirotazo. Juntos los acordes, un ejército de palabras-títeres, armonizan en una sola campaña del narrar.

El pretexto de cada cuento en Cetrería es la abundancia agotadora de emociones y de objetos con que se enfrenta el personaje, el exceso de sus sensaciones resbalándole el pasado, el futuro, mintiéndole al tiempo un secreto irrealizable, a la cual la narración propone encontrar una forma ordenada que le proporcione el alivio. Cada uno cuenta la exploración por un camino difuso hacia el eje de alguna concatenación del sueño-recuerdo-imagen-palabra. Durante cada exploración las figuras de los personajes,  los objetos, y los lugares narrados se compenetran en sutiles movimientos que divisa la mente en reflexión. De acuerdo con las palabras de Jung citadas en Cetrería, en el centro del cuadrado se encuentra el círculo con irradiación, esa forma rígida siempre se presenta para sujetar el burujón o el amasijo presentido dentro del instante para que el personaje pueda acercarse. Sin embargo, el conflicto central trata primero de encontrar el modo de incorporarse en ese cuadrado y luego de saber expresar lo visto una vez expulsado de él.

En algunos casos el personaje entra por las puertas del sueño para terminar en el recuerdo. En Siesta de hotel, por ejemplo, el personaje, seguro entre las cuatro paredes de una habitación alquilada, contempla las cosas que la llenan, aquellos objetos enormes, las imágenes que ellas desprenden, y el papel que él interpreta en la formación de cada una. Luego él se duerme para soñar y, así, sueña con el recuerdo. Recuerda cómo a ella le contaba sus sueños, y por qué ahora era imposible que ésta siguiera formando parte de ellos. A su vez, este soñar del recordar va componiendo el cuento que el narrador quisiera contar. Sí, yo voy a soñar, a soñar tan tontamente como un irrealizado espejo. Estas lámparas, exactamente, estas lámparas del cuarto velando la siesta donde irá naciendo mi cuento. La habitación es la estructura capaz de retener las peripecias ilusorias que le van surgiendo para que las inspeccione hasta el momento en que lo despierta el camarero del hotel y lo retira de la siesta.

También hay el ejemplo de Otro sueño en donde el pintor Alberto sueña despierto dentro de los cuadros que pinta porque allí las ensoñaciones adquieren una forma. Amaba esa casi obscenidad de las líneas cuando agrupándose fijamente en los flancos de sus figuras, elaboraban casi diría que tostabanla realidad de su cuarto. El sueño para Alberto se compone de sus interacciones con los vestigios de los recuerdos, los vestigios de ella, que llenan un presente que se le desborda de imágenes. Ella se iba y, el presente, la realidad, elaboraban un sueño mayor en su estar ahí… Ah, lo presente también era un sueño… Una mágica revelación del vacío. Igual que el sueño que se disipa cuando la siesta se acaba, para Alberto el sueño de lo real se desvanece con la caída del día y su descanso de la pintura.

En otras ocasiones el personaje experimenta una integración inversa; por medio del recuerdo se encuentra en la sustancia de un sueño. En Con una cita de Balzac, el yo narra el encadenamiento imaginario que se inicia con algo tan cotidiano como el hacer una llamada telefónica. De allí el recuerdo de un pasaje de Le Père Goriot evoca una sensación que en seguida lo lleva hasta un

Fig. 2 Joseph Cornell, Hotel Eden

recuerdo de infancia. Recuerda el cajón grande en el que con mucha prisa recogía los soldados de plomo porque a las cinco llegaba la maestra. Se entremezclan como soñados la rara compulsión de juntar fragmentos dentro de ese cuadrado, de buscarlos en el rincón sombrío del cuarto, el tedio de las pesadas palabras de la maestra, y el deambular tras las formas que imitan las cosas salientes de ese tedio. Se entremezclan como una mágica pluralidad de capas concéntricas, en las cuales, extrayendo una cualquiera de ellas, nos encontrábamos en sus estructuras, a disímiles e inefables revolicos de nuestros sueños. Y de nuevo todo se acaba de repente y el narrador sin saber cómo seguir adelante ha de alejarse del pandemonio de un cajón grande.

Otro, El Caballero del Frío, el último cuento del libro y el que Lorenzo identificó como clave, relata el recuerdo del sueño fracasado entre María y Alberto. María, por una obsesiva necesidad, vuelve hacia los objetos de su cuarto. Las sensaciones que estos le provocan hacen que a través de imágenes María reviva el sufrimiento que le causó la obsesión de Alberto por perseguir los sueños dentro de los cuadros que él pintaba.  Por culpa de esta estéril y viciosa búsqueda, él había podido crear y destruir, a la vez, la trama de sus relatos. El recuerdo de María es otra ensoñación que se agiganta sólo durante un instante y de allí la prisa de entender lo más posible antes de que éste se acabe. Y se acaba, con su salida del cuarto, dando fin a ese instante e imposibilitando que ella siga con Alberto, y que el narrador nos cuente más sobre ellos. Se acaba dejándonos con sólo los trazos del Caballero del Frío (de ese poema de Roberto Argüelles Bringas), con los golpes de sus guantes vacíos, que llenan las paredes del cuarto como aquellos personajes medioevales proyectados por la proustiana linterna de Combray, trazos de ese otro cazador.

La cetrería nombra la cacería que Lorenzo emprende a lo largo de los relatos que son simultáneamente una búsqueda, la plataforma edificada sobre la que la búsqueda se mete en escena, y la valoración final de ella. Cazan lo real dentro del sueño y el recuerdo, la forma que puede poseer lo real, y la forma que puede tener su expresión. Pero en cada caso, de una manera u otra, la caza termina frustrada. Todo es pesquisa y desengaño, cerco y escape, donde el joven Lorenzo titiritero fue lanzando palabras de rapiña hacia aquellas imágenes imprecisas que le daban vueltas constantes entre los planos del recuerdo y del sueño, en espera que ensartando relatos sus títeres le trajeran algo en los picos que él pudiera conocer con claridad, y tocar como algo concreto y perteneciente a algún orden.

Fig. 3 Joseph Cornell, Blue Sand Box

En una entrada de 2010 del blog Ping-Pong Zuihitzu, él confiesa de alguna vez haber pensado ser Cetrería su libro malo. Recordarlo lo llevaba a una caldera infernal de mi juventud. Creyó haber fracasado, haber creado un callejón sin salida, algún disparate digno de ser borrado de su bibliografía, pero que luego sería imposible de suprimir porque precisamente allí es donde se encuentra el magma que está detrás de todas las experiencias que he intentado, y que sigo intentando; ese magma de las intangibles imágenes sin forma a priori que componen el palimpsesto del recuerdo sobre el sueño sobre el recuerdo.  Esa resultante yuxtaposición, consecuencia de la sobreposición de láminas translucientes, tiene forma de acordeón donde la unión de cada zig-zag dibuja un borde que es una línea, y donde uno sabe que esa línea desaparecería dentro de un solo plano si aquellos zigzags lograran alguna vez extenderse del todo. Y el hilo que encadena aquellos zigzags es el canto que emite el acordeón, ese avanzar y volver sobre sí que es la repetición tan reconocible de Lorenzo. O quizás, en vez de acordeón, los zigzags componen un abanico donde el hilo es el soplo que refresca, o que estorba, los ojos de un lector con la solidez que alcanza el sufrimiento.

Yo por mi parte traduzco. Busco identificar lo que han traído sus títeres, eso que cada palabra suya encierra para hallar cómo encerrarlo con otra palabra mía. Pero encuentro que las de él no operan de forma individual, sino que cada una anuncia algo que excede el propio contenido. Por eso sus acordes, esas palabras análogas que corean enjambradas en torno al detalle que desean tomar preso. Y entonces concluyo que una palabra traducida tampoco puede lograrlo sola, que necesita colaborar con las demás, ellas también traducidas, pero donde juntas persiguen un método en el que todas coinciden, si pretenden acorralar lo mismo que los relatos de Cetrería. Así compruebo el desespero de los personajes de Lorenzo por entender el desfile eterno de imágenes que les llena el instante, por ordenar lo real y lo soñado que les parece caber en una sola imagen, y por capturar el recuerdo en lo concreto de una palabra escrita.

Llegaron las cinco de repente, sin avisar. Esa hora en el romance que la Muerte le había agraciado al enamorado se nos había acabado. Concluimos la lectura, me despedí del querido Fierro, y salí de su oficina. Con lo que quedaba de ese día seguí dentro de esa suerte de escribir sobre Lorenzo García Vega. Y trato de, le cito, no cagarle su testimonio con ninguna explicación de tesis de grado, ni decepcionarlo con una mala traducción de sus títeres.

…………………………………………………..

Traducción de un cuento de Cetrería del títere

With a Quotation from Balzac

1

This matter of boredom, incredible and terrifying, brings me new problems every day. Useless problems as dry and sterile as the atmosphere from which they emerge. I swear, because of all this, that starting this very day I’m going to call forth this unsustainable situation, this broken and nevertheless enormous fragment that, like the ocean of a blank page, is plotting a grid with edges over my form, tattooing any gesture of my thoughts with cumbersome letters.

It’s not that because today is a different day I’m trying to take a stand. No, nothing of the sort. And it’s also not that now because of some unexpected glimpse I find myself pausing to reproduce my situation. My description, at this exact moment, couldn’t be any more straightforward. I am, without any padding, of the vulgar and everyday attitude of someone who has just hung up the phone after having maintained a very brief call. I am at that instant, like a miniature moment, where we stay seated beside the chair by the telephone, overwhelmed, perhaps, by the small fiction that every phone call implies.

I don’t know why I linger on this, and yet I also understand, indescribably, that I must do it. And it’s not only that, but that also I force myself to linger here longer, a little longer, as if then being able to speed along my greatest leap forward. So I present myself succinctly, concisely, in an insignificant situation. With what I sketch, I cut unevenly so as to slide off the small bits that surround me. But before that, I want to allow myself a quick digression. It has to do with the fact that, despite the approving and peaceful bourgeois attitude in which I am momentarily located, I don’t want to, nor can I, present my situation with comfortable, static approval. And in spite of everything, I fear I’ll upset you with the obsession of an almost lineal passion, with the minute fervor of certain contours, but that’s the way it must be. Let’s not forget, not even for an instant, that what has come to me here is the dull matter of boredom and its cornucopia of problems. So it’s necessary that I stick to the minute signs.

Having explained all of this, I’ll comfortably limit myself to describing my surroundings.

The room where I am must necessarily be a small drawing room; one that is of course without any decoration or adornment, only carrying out its function as a place with a telephone. As for everything else, there’s nothing more to say. But it’s just that… but yes,¾I should make a note of this too¾­at the far end of the room there’s a large door, closed to an interior hallway. I might add that the reference to the door is not superfluous. Its importance reaches us through the windows at the top, a place where it seems to vaguely explain the light of morning.

2

Up until this point I have tried to narrate my location, but now I’m letting go of the tense and problematic part with which the describing of a location asphyxiates us. Yes, now I am free -finally- to gather up so many disparate scraps, to disguise them with a stroke of words so that the disorder can’t be seen. But even so, I confess, how I fear the frailty of a direction, the smack from a group of words! How I know that any wink or nod from my letters can twist the spirit of an incident, losing me back inside the clever disorder of a bridge built without shores!

I couldn’t say how I was capable of deciding to confess this. Or how I can open this chapter leaping from the concise position of someone who has just finished a telephone call only to steep myself more and more in the asphyxia of words and images that I fear I’ve left strewn about the floor. It’s that it concerns a fight, a real and genuine fight. And how often, absent even the slightest incident, I’ve found myself inside the fierce disorder of a post-reading forced to decapitate, in the openness of any shore, those puppet show strokes or challenges that the meticulousness of my analyses had risked, placing that fight beneath my eyes.

If we mention the loneliness and banality of a telephone on a table, if we add a large door closed to an interior hallway and in it we place the Character, succinct and extremely brief, nobody can imagine the vivacious disorder that at every instant the diagonal of our constructed situation hopes to unleash. And nothing can alleviate the brief but unsettling fissure with which the cluster of several images will try to twist the geometric zigzag our taste has forced upon an event. How often I’ve seen myself twist the gesture of a character until only the bones of a few words remain, and all because of nothing more than the return of several lines that I let escape when the coding of his circumstances had grown weak.

I have never been able to avoid the obsessive passion of this slipping through potential stories. And so amazing to me is the petty intricacy of a detail -or also that unreal but relentless game of lines in which many times what is farthest away from any sort of abstraction begins to transform- that in some readings I’ve been surprised to notice myself savoring a jumble of lines for a dream, or on other occasions pursuing the impenetrable gesture of a word through many of my memories.

So then in any narration that I try to transmit I’m always challenged by those idle pursuits. This is even more painful for me considering that, still feeling the automatism from all this haste, an incomprehensible, but not for that any less authoritarian, passion for resistance stirs within me an obsessive desire to want to corral my words, asking for structure, for plastic solidity, from where I can finally govern my story, leaving to the sides the clustered pandemonium of gestures from other possible situations, from diagonals that I haven’t been able to consider, or even from objects pointed out during the narration, but that given the imposition of the outline in which I have imprisoned them, many of their not-yet captured details slip back into the dark, story-telling junk shop; and these details are those that not only are never completely lost, but that also continuously grow larger in onirical drawings during the twists and turns of a story, hampering the structure or netting of our description.

Because of my extreme susceptibility to these light-sleep events, to these narrative structures, I’ve become tremendously capricious in the world of storytelling. I can’t keep at words or dialogues for very long without, in a bit of delightful tension, starting to lessen the degree to which the vocation of puppet master plays a role in the recounting of a story. And headed towards recounting a denouement, or stumbling over the anecdotes of an adventure, I’m assailed by that naked bone of certain images that I cannot manage to corral, clinging again and again to the desire for a structure, for an irradiating center.

But I say an irradiating center, and I’ve also noted alchemical forces. It is from that image following me sometimes when reading a book, twisting a distinct spiral independent from the text, that I encounter a memory or an explanation in a dream that Jung describes: “It concerns the construction of a central point and achieving the symmetry of the image to make it reflect inside that point;” and of this author’s commentary on the abovementioned dream: “Therefore, in order to continue this deduction one might very well consider that the central point is also the point where two worlds that correspond to each other are sliced, because they appear inverted in the mirror.” I wouldn’t be able to explain the enormous illumination that these words exert over me or, what is most curious of all, how they seemed in a completely inexpressible but tremendously real way inextricably connected to my reading experiences, as well as to the experience of that sort of joust or combat with unexpected images that afterwards renders the continuity of telling a story impossible for me.

Nevertheless, I can say, with discontinuity and in the style of those cubist paintings of superimposed and disparate objects, what logical nonsense is contained in this impression of seeing myself as a character in the morning after a telephone call. So I’m going to bring together all of my useless scraps, all of my storytelling oddments, and may nobody be ashamed if at some point in the description the sign from an unclarified smack becomes muddled.

3

Happy is he who enters a story with complete simplicity. Happy is he who can unravel one adventure after another, scraping through the contours of his story with magnificent indifference. But anyhow, I think I’ve managed to reach a justification for my impossibility and, making up my mind not to rush, I position myself anew, pencil in hand, before my own outline as a character.

Immediately, I’m hounded by the need for a quotation. It is a remark from Balzac on a character in his Le Père Goriot: “The knitted woolen petticoat that drops below the skirt made out of a gown, whose wadding shows through gaps in the worn material, sums up the salon, the dining room, the garden, announces the kitchen and foretells the guests.” One might be able to imagine, perhaps, that in the necessary haste to churn out this quotation, I encountered a desire to slow down, to play for time until reaching the definitive corner on which to position myself as a character. However, I don’t at all propose to distract -just the opposite- from the need for this story that has emerged from the quotation.

Therefore, faithful to my plan to bring together my useless scraps and storytelling oddments, I begin my sketches like this. A knitted woolen petticoat sums up the salon, the dining room, foretells the guests… On reading this quotation, a particular fondness or aroma made me abandon the novel. It stirred in me an emotion that, after describing it to myself, I have always associated with what is the poetic image. An emotion like a paltry intricacy, like wrapping myself up with, or nestling inside, a detail, inventing gestures and attitudes, or rather, inventing a mode of conduct to better serve the possible destiny that this imprecise intricacy could deliver me. Then I play at uncovering spells, small and indescribable associations, unintelligible to everyone else, but that for me hold the unequivocal evidence of a memory.

It had been many years earlier. The green of the patio, its areca palms. Beyond the fence -midday-, beyond the house next door -but above it, over its roof-, a small noise, a noise as if dissolved into a large smudge, seemed to obsess the corners with the secret of an aroma. I felt a feverish haste to finish quickly, to learn everything. At five o’clock my teacher would be at my house.

I remember that the feeling of haste had something… or rather, that the haste was the same as the slight noise of the arecas swaying. Then the contours of the patio became very precisely situated before me; they became possible to spell, offering me in addition, something like a story of thin sheets that I felt capable of discovering once I managed to bring order to my life. But I had to hurry; I had to put the soldiers inside the large chest beside me. To do this I filled my hands with them, and I quickly threw them into the chest in such a way that it seemed as if I was trying to forget.

But in the act of gathering there was also a very important anecdote. It happened when I drew close to a corner below the patio stairs. This corner was humid, and with its shade that to me seemed very peculiar and pleasant, it was able to incite me to proceed, with delirious insistence, in that eagerness to learn everything, which the arecas from the patio had already awakened inside me. This feeling was immediate. In my rush to gather, I had gone to the corner in search of a lead soldier that I might not yet have thrown into the chest. But once there, a strange kindness suddenly rushed through my body causing me to sit down in such a way that the steps of the staircase became my roof. Most likely the time that I was there consisted of no more than a few instants, but its effect became inerasable. It seemed to me that, for the first time, I had succeeded in inhabiting an authentic dwelling, a difficult dwelling in which I would manage to find relief, deciphering the secret of what it appeared to hold. But it wasn’t only this! It was also that the corner of the staircase was an accomplice to the haste inspired by the arecas and an accomplice to the noisy smudge of light over the roof of the house above. Oh, how it filled with uncertainties, with premonitions, with a delirious and feverish anxiety! I would almost venture to say that this was one of the happiest moments of my life, and in which were eternally expressed the coordinates of what for me is an image, a poetic structure.

Then came the five o’clock moment. The teacher was repeating, insisting monotonously upon the declinations of the verb. I followed her cumbersome words for a few moments, spread about like the legs of flies over the cloth on the table. From within this boredom, at one point I noticed that the words were eluding me. Then the tablecloth was empty, with some unknown harshness and desolation inside the ring that a recently removed glass had left. I looked at it intermittently, alternating its vision with a nervous fixation of my gaze towards the eyes of the teacher. But all of a sudden I was overpowered by the extension of my arm, touching the end of the table with my elbow. I remember that on doing this the first thing to enter my mind was the sensation that my arm was a long toppled giant -how long it was- on top of the unimaginable triviality of the tablecloth. After that this pleasant and measured enchantment caused me to look at the patio.

Over there was the corner; the arecas were there, with a breeze that made them tiny as if shrunken by the approaching nightfall. There was also another empty ring; a much larger ring than the one the glass had left on the tablecloth; over it there had been a flowerpot that had been moved several days earlier.

I rested my gaze on the ring. It was the voluptuousness of my arm with my elbow at the end of the table. Of my arm like a long toppled giant -how long it was- extending out over the tablecloth towards an edge that no longer belonged to my arm, but rather, it had transformed into the edge of the patio, into the edge that the flowerpot had left.

Then everything appeared before me with the paradox of becoming complicated and accessible at the same time. It seemed to me an extensively meticulous story, out of the blue extremely real and near to my gestures. It held a courtly ceremonial of exquisite prudence, of acts that had to be hunted with utmost precaution fearing any contrariety from the unexpected.

So it was, no less, that I had discovered how to rule over the boredom. But it wasn’t -no, not in the least- that in those days I was already testing an incipient and practicing methodology to alleviate the hours. But rather, just like everything surrounding me that boredom, so extremely connected to the teacher’s smudge of chalk and to the sweaty splotch on the covers of my notebooks, appeared to me as a dense and difficult field, over which the voluptuousness of my gestures could rule.

There remained, along with the sadness of the sunset, the uncertain legions of premonitions that had been inside the haste of the arecas. Now they were miniscule, almost lacking; it seemed that by nestling inside of the sunset they hoped also to make their way into the large wooden chest, into the chest where I had tossed the lead soldiers.

So then the legions of arecas and the smudges of light fell, thick, until tomorrow’s game. But the mimesis of my arm, with its reproduction of a toppled giant plotting around itself the investigation of empty edges, was left as the only certainty that I had been able to conquer.

And so there was a ceremonial left for later. A ceremonial whose gestures would at every instant have to be invented. Made of unmentionable and delirious infantile metamorphoses, this ceremonial resembled the disparate and ineffable flurries of our dreams; a magical plurality of concentric layers in which, extracting any one of them we found ourselves inside their structures. What else could it be, the cutting relationship between the edge left on the tablecloth and the circular space of the flowerpot on the patio? What else could it be, the complicity of stories and memories that the analogy of those two voids resembled?

But I return to a reading I have quoted: Her knitted woolen petticoat… whose wadding shows through gaps in the worn material…, announces the kitchen and foretells the guests. On reading these words, I’d had to abandon my reading of Balzac’s novel for a while. It took me to a circle or, more precisely, it created a space where it seemed that all of my images had ceased. Because it wasn’t only that the words read in the novel had given rise to an emotion or to a memory that for the moment I couldn’t manage to specify, but that strangely, the impression with which those words challenged me was offering me something like the possibility of a structure, of a resistance inside the image. And in order to make this more visible, I cannot help but quote other words from Jung, rendering understandable the need and surprise of my encounter: “The square is the secret of the wise.” “In the center of the square a circle with irradiation is found.” Savoring the counterpoint of those gaps, of those precious paradoxes that, causing me to leap away from the guests presented by Balzac, take me to a harsh but nevertheless irradiant dwelling where my images had transformed into alchemical circles and squares, I began little by little to notice the controversy of several emotions; several emotions that only by accepting the ingenuousness of the puppet master with which I have intended to offer my useless storytelling scraps do I dare depict with their characteristic qualities.

All right then, I’ll throw myself at this small delirium of converting my feelings into dolls or storytelling threads, and I’ll pick up my narration again. Because the thing is that these emotions were emerging with the appearance of a memory.

My class at five o’clock was the content of the memory. This memory appeared before me in its entirety, like a confused, off-white background that one might say was outlined by the smudge of chalk on the blackboard; but that in turn forced upon me the detail of my arm on the tablecloth with the meticulousness of my elbow at the far end of the table, and pursuing, with the gesture of a toppled giant, the roundness of an edge.

With that alone it was absolutely impossible for me to reenter the reading of the novel. And the detail my memory had just evoked forced itself upon me against any explanation, inextricably united with the character of the knitted woolen petticoat.

And not only this, but alongside this memory another of my emotions became noticeable. An emotion so disparate and foreign to Balzac’s description as could be the memory of my fallen arm on the tablecloth, and if I dare to refer to it here, sparing any air of deliriant acrobacy, it is for the purpose so often expressed in this narration of returning diagonally through the threads and useless items of storytelling puppetry.

So I say an emotion, and it was an enthusiastic need that presented itself to me in this way. This need consisted in the anxiety of narrating a character, of having it meticulously detailed before my eyes.

And there you have the situation in which I found myself. In that vision of myself as a character, succinct and extremely brief, in an insignificant situation. In that description of my setting in a drawing room where there was a telephone placed on the table after a telephone call.

This can also explain the beginning of my narration. There it presented the atmosphere into which I was to insert myself as a character. I talked about the incredible and terrifying aspect of boredom, and of how it was plotting a grid with edges over my form, tattooing any gesture of my thoughts with cumbersome letters.

But I haven’t been able to continue the story. I don’t think I will ever continue it either. Because, during the short amount of time that I was threading together the words that reproduced me as a character, my desire to get back to the insignificant and absurd of the place from where I had left grew larger; to get back to where I had made my decision to write. I wasn’t interested any longer in the inquest or the invention of events for the character who had just made a phone call, but instead, my gaze fixed insistently on the complicated parabola of mirrors that, by way of my associations, and starting at a quotation from Balzac, had lead me to attempt a story about boredom; all of which, moreover, was passing through an arm’s childish imitation of a giant.

So then, the only thing I can leave here is a trail, or a copy of remnants, upon which the character that I’ve tried to sketch pauses and with every step decomposes.

Regarding the dissolution of this analysis, all that I’m left with now after the impossible continuation of my story is to pause and gather the small pieces into which it has decomposed. But no, the decision to abandon this story is definitive. Because it is a question, no less, of the direction that my word has taken while unraveling certain spells, certain memories. I think this will be understandable so as to justify my haste, and to move away, just as I’m now moving away, from the search for this pandemonium of a large chest, of an arm lying like a giant, or of a quotation from Balzac.

Sean O’Malley Manning es estudiante doctoral en la Universidad de Texas, en Austin. Actualmente escribe su disertación, Sentidos divergentes de espirales paralelas: la escritura centrípeta de Juan Larrea y Lorenzo García Vega. Tiene con Enrique Fierro un blog, Foes Amis, de actividad, y de creatividad, esporádica – http://somosfoesamis.blogspot.com.

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Esta entrada fue publicada el agosto 21, 2012 por en Dossier Lorenzo García Vega.

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